The Ethics of Altitude Simulation in Sport

As the use of prohibited performance enhancing drugs becomes more prevalent in sports, the governing bodies (IOC and WADA) are coming under increasing pressure to proactively eradicate such practices in sanctioned sporting events.

CAT has always seen itself as a significant part of the anti-drug movement, and a contributor in the move towards creating a level playing field for athletes.

Recently, however, attention has been diverted away from the real issue at hand to focus on the use of altitude simulation technology because some people have claimed that altitude training is tantamount to blood doping, or worse, that it is the same as performance enhancement through illicit drug use.

Upon review of the facts of simulated altitude systems as a training aid for sport, the contention that such practices should be banned is largely indefensible.

  • Does the use of simulated altitude equipment impart an unfair advantage to the adopters of the technology? Discussion
  • Will the use of simulated altitude equipment automatically result in athletic performance improvements? Discussion
  • Does the use of simulated altitude equipment result in supra-physiological performance enhancement? Discussion
  • Is the manipulation of the environment something that should be banned? Discussion